Adelaide Crows' Hugh Greenwood ready for the AFL Grand Final

TASSIE CROW: Hugh Greenwood in action for Adelaide. Picture: AAP
TASSIE CROW: Hugh Greenwood in action for Adelaide. Picture: AAP

There’s a strong North-West Coast link to Hugh Greenwood’s football pedigree and a family tradition of premierships he is hoping to build on come Saturday.

Greenwood is the grandson of Tasmanian great Peter Marquis, who started at Devonport, where he was the club’s 1951 best and fairest and a NWFU and state representative.

It was from there he went to Melbourne, were he played 99 games between 1953 and 1958, which saw him win play in premierships from 1955-57.

Now 25-year-old Greenwood has the chance to join his grandfather as a premiership player as part of the Adelaide side that takes on Richmond in Saturday’s grand final.

“I obviously wasn’t around to see Pop play in his four grand finals, but I heard a lot about them,’’ he told Fairfax Media this week.

“It would be pretty special to add another one to the family collection, but even if I do get one this weekend, I would still have two to go to catch him.

“I am very, very proud that Pop is a premiership player, so to be able to say that I’ve been able to have done the same thing would be very special.”

Saturday will also be the ultimate vindication his decision to swap the hoops for the Sherrin was correct.

Greenwood walked away from an NBL contract with the Perth Wildcats in 2015 to have a crack at the AFL, which ended a basketball career which had seen him as part of the Boomers’ program and play college basketball for University of New Mexico.

UNDER THE PUMP: Hugh Greenwood tackles Greater Western Sydney's Matt de Boer during this year's finals series. Picture: AAP

UNDER THE PUMP: Hugh Greenwood tackles Greater Western Sydney's Matt de Boer during this year's finals series. Picture: AAP

“When I made my debut in round 9 against Brisbane, that was the defining moment when I knew I had made the right call,’’ he said.

“But this [getting to play in a grand final] is sort of the icing on top, and again would be the case if we were to win.

“I had no regrets at the time, and fortunately enough it did end up paying off in round 9, and now I am just enjoying it and really having fun with it.

“What’s happened the last couple of weeks and what will happen this weekend has exceeded all expectations and I am just grateful to be part of the footy club and what’s happening on the weekend.”

Greenwood believed pressure would be a be key to Saturday’s outcome.

“As a footy club we have a reputation that our style is this fast, free-flowing brand of football, but our pressure is what teams are starting to notice about us now, and we pride ourselves on our defence as much as our attack.

“We believe the game is won and lost in the contest, and that’s where we believe it begins with our pressure.

“So it is about our backs and our mids getting it to our forwards, as they are very talented, and letting them take care of it.”

 Greenwood has averaged 16.1 touches [10 of those contested], 2.6 marks and 6.89 tackles a game [10th in the league] in the middle and across half-forward, and he’s ready to get down and dirty against the Tigers.

“The message from Pykey [coach Don Pyke] is each week is just to go out and play your role, and my role in the group is to go out and provide that pressure and energy.

“I’m not the quickest bloke, so my job is to win it on the inside and get it to the blokes on the outside.”

When he does run out onto the MCG on Saturday, his mum Andree, who in 2014 was diagnosed with secondary terminal breast cancer, will be front of mind.

“She sets goals for herself, so to be around for my debut and see me play AFL was her big goal, and she was able to accomplish that,’’ he said.

“I really want to share the moment with my family [Andree, father Michael and sister Josie] and my friends, but for mum especially.

“I don’t think she could believe that she was still here [last week] and will be able to watch the game on the weekend.

“Almost everything I do I do for her and the family, so to run out on the ground and represent her and the family will be pretty special.

“I will have my breast cancer awareness boots on the big stage to continue to try to raise awareness for her and secondary breast cancer.

“She lives through me and gets her inspiration from my sister and I, and we get our inspiration from her.”

This story Family tradition first appeared on The Advocate.